November 4, 2016
VIA RAIL HONOURS THE MILITARY AND THEIR FAMILIES
Ottawa, November 4, 2016 – For the third consecutive year, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is partnering with the Royal Canadian Legion (the Legion) to offer Poppies to all passengers who travel onboard its trains across the country during the two weeks preceding Remembrance Day. Between October 28 and November 11, 2016, 25,000 Poppies will be distributed, and the Business class cars will also display this emblem, paying tribute to those who signed up to serve their country with dedication and made the ultimate sacrifice.
“Through the Poppy Campaign, VIA Rail pays tribute to those who, both in the past and today, devoted themselves with courage and determination to protecting our rights and the values that we hold dear, in Canada and abroad. The Poppy symbolizes the courage and the sacrifices of our military personnel and their families in times of war and peace. This is also why, by displaying the Poppy on our trains, we hope to remind each Canadian of their duty to remember and show their gratitude,” said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail.
“The use of the Poppy originated from LCol John McCrae’s poem and can be traced back to July 5, 1921 when the Great War Veterans’ Association in Canada and its successor, The Royal Canadian Legion, officially adopted the Poppy as its Symbol of Remembrance. Since then the Legion has sought out other companies and organizations to help promote Remembrance through the use of the Poppy. We are pleased about our third consecutive year partnering with VIA Rail to promote Remembrance and help raise funds to help Veterans in need and I encourage all Canadians to show their support and their generosity during this year’s Poppy Campaign,” said Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President, David Flannigan.
Since 2010, 168,000 trips have been made by military personnel and their family members onboard VIA Rail trains. The train played a predominant role during several conflicts in helping to transport military personnel to ports on the east and west coasts of the country. To preserve this historic association, since 2010 VIA Rail has offered members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, their families, and National Defence civilian personnel a reduction of 25% on their ticket price, with no restrictions on routes or dates.
On November 4, 2016, at VIA Rail’s Ottawa station, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and CEO of VIA Rail Canada, David Flannigan, Dominion President of the Royal Canadian Legion, and Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa South John Fraser, paid tribute to Canadian veterans and launched VIA Rail’s Poppy Campaign.
About the Royal Canadian Legion
The Legion, created in 1926, is Canada’s largest veteran service organization, with 300,000 members. Its mission is to help all veterans, including active members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and their families, perpetuate Remembrance and serve our communities and our country. The Legion’s Service Bureau Network offers all veterans help and representational services for their disability and other benefits, as well as services provided by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. Remembrance is kept alive by the Legion through Remembrance Day ceremonies and the Poppy campaign conducted in communities across Canada. With more than 1,420 branches, the Legion supports programs for seniors, housing, awareness-building and visits, developing leadership among youth, education, sports, cadets, Scouts and Guides. We will remember them.
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and its 2,600 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years. For more information, visit About VIA Rail at www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.